Letter: Delogu undervalues benefits of casino

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I would like to shed light on a few points surrounding the Progress for Maine campaign “Yes on Question 1,” in response to Orlando Delogu’s column last week.

Delogu is right; the entrepreneurs behind the York County gaming initiative are not from Maine. As a matter of fact, there are no Maine-based gaming companies. Yet the revenue produced by the existing casinos help fund the state’s various developmental programs. From a larger perspective, whether it is gaming or another industry, a great number of Maine’s job and revenue generators has been established by “out-of-state” firms. What should matter is the products of the investments made in here in Maine.

As far as “locality,” the determinant is not the origin of the founders of a project, but that of its beneficiaries who are, in this case, Mainers. The proposed gaming venue is projected to generate approximately 5,000 jobs and over $50 million funding for K-12 education, colleges, aging and disability, drug education, and more.

Labeling this project a “self-serving initiative” (by directing the arrows toward one of its contributors) was a mistake on Delogu’s part. This is officially a citizens’ initiative, and given that upcoming casino projects like Wynn Boston Harbor are expected to pull significant revenue and workforce from southern Maine, approving a facility consisting of a casino, convention center and hotel in York County will be Mainers’ decision to strengthen Maine’s economy.

David Wilson
San Clemente, California